DeSantis Loses Blue-Collar Support Over Drastic Disney Actions

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Reedy Creek Fire Dept. truck in front EPCOT's Spaceship Earth at Disney World

Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

Gov. DeSantis is losing crucial blue-collar support in his home state of Florida.

Ron DeSantis
Credit: WikiMedia

Related: Hated Disney World Attraction Gets Major Facelift

A Brief Recap

Th DeSantis Disney sage dates back to early 2020 when The Walt Disney Company, which was led by then-CEO Bob Chapek, publicly denounced Gov. DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education Act. This disagreement did not sit well with Ron DeSantis, with the outspoken Gov. making it his primary mission to destroy any of the special privileges The Walt Disney Company had benefited from. For decades, the Walt Disney World Resort was able to act as its own form of government due to the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID). This essentially allowed Disney to do as it pleased, which quickened construction projects considerably. Disney also employed its own first responders and public service workers in the district.

Eventually, DeSantis was successful in stripping power from Disney, and a new board was created, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD). The state of Florida is now in control of the district that covers the Walt Disney World Resort, including Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT.

In the months since this state takeover, The Walt Disney Company has slammed Gov. DeSantis and the state of Florida with two lawsuits, DeSantis’ top Disney chief had to resign due to a conflict of interest, and now, Gov. DeSantis is losing critical blue-collar support over his actions.

Liberty Square Riverboat in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Related: Disney Park Bans All Character Meets, Guests Furious

As reported by Wdwmagic, essential blue-collar workers are speaking out against the actions of DeSantis’ CFTOD. Firefighters at the Walt Disney World Resort are pushing back on the board, removing benefits from employees in the district.

Earlier this week, the CFTOD enacted a major change that saw the removal of Annual Pass and ticket benefits from district employees.

Firefighters are now speaking out regarding this change. “This benefit is intangible and generational. We have retirees, some of them here today, who work their entire careers and work and earn this benefit for the rest of their lives. This allows me to bring my children to the parks and eventually my grandchildren.” He continued, “When the district changed hands last year, we were told that our jobs and our benefits were safe,” said one firefighter.

Another Firefighter said, “It seems that this current board is doing everything possible to dismantle what has already been agreed upon for the current employees. And the what was earned by the retirees.”

A short clip of these comments can be seen down below:

Related: Reactions Pour in After Disney World Cast Member Fired Following Viral Altercation

In response to this backlash, CFTOD chairman Martin Garcia stated that the Walt Disney World annual pass benefit was actually unfair to taxpayers in the district. He admitted that some employees would benefit from this new system.

It’s incredibly common for theme parks to offer specially-priced tickets and passes to their employees, making this move quite bizarre, especially when considering Glen Gilzean’s position in the new CFTOD board nets him $400,000 every year.

The relationship between the state of Florida and The Walt Disney Company is incredibly strained and may be damaged beyond repair. But with a presidential bid on the docket for Gov. DeSantis, he can’t afford to lose critical support from blue-collar workers.

Stay tuned here at Inside the Magic for the latest updates on Disney and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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